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Creative Corporealities

This interdisciplinary research group concerns itself with the body as a source of creative material and notions of embodiment in cultural contexts.

Creative Corporealities is an interdisciplinary research group that responds to a contemporary revision in notions of humanity, felt both viscerally and intellectually, for which the predominant answer is embodiment and creativity.

Who we are

We are practitioners and academics working across a wide range of disciplines, based at Bath Spa University, with research themes accommodated under the banner of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries. Creative Corporealities concerns itself with embodiment as a source of creative practice, with its own causalities and politics. We develop and observe disciplinary practices that engage and affect a body that is generative of creative processes. 

We are also on the steering group for the Research Centre for the Environmental Humanities, representing performance and arts research. 

Projects

Our researchers are engaged in projects that have been funded by organisations such as the Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

One Lost Stone

Thomas Kampe (director)
£84k Heritage Lottery Arts funding
September 2019

One Lost Stone is a site responsive performance piece researching the hidden legacy of Sephardic Jews in London, and was performed at Novo Cemetery in London. This formed part of the project Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews, a production in collaboration with the Pascal Theatre company, which looked to use performative and embodied means to investigate hidden and reluctant British histories.

Book - The Imagining Body in Performer Training: The Legacy of Jacques Lecoq and Gaston Bachelard

Bath Spa's Ellie Nixon is currently writing a monograph titled The Imagining Body in Performer Training: The Legacy of Jacques Lecoq and Gaston Bachelard as part of the Perspectives on Performer Training Book Series, to be published by Routledge in 2019.

Body IQ festival

Organisers: Kai Ehrhardt and Thomas Kampe
15 to 17 November 2019
Somatische Akademie Berlin

BODY IQ is an international symposium and festival that celebrates ourselves as living, pulsating bodies. Without the body there is no experience and without experience there is no ground for intelligence. It is a festival of and by the conscious body - ensuring discovery, exchange and unexpected synergies.

50 international experts, artists and teachers will gather distinctions and commonalities of somatic approaches, then disseminate them into a wide spectrum of applications, penetrating - from arts to healing to politics - many domains of human activity.

This festival aspires to be a platform that generates impulses for the knowledge, wisdom and wonder of the conscious, human form.

displaced/displayed: re-enacting dances of migration

Artistic direction: Thomas Kampe
Editorial direction: Manuela Jara
Choreographic direction and research: Carol Brown
Sound: Russell Scoones
Video artist: Meek Zuiderwyk
Video assistant: Freddie Errazo
The New Zealand Dance Company: Carl Tolentino, Lucy Lynch, Chris Ofanoa, Katie Rudd

This performance was featured as part of a major exhibition at the Theatre Museum Vienna in March 2019.

Displaced/displayed re-activates the legacy of Viennese choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser (Vienna 1890 – Sydney 1959) and her dancers within a context of global transmission of dance knowledge through crisis, diaspora and exile. This installation coincides with the 80th anniversary of Bodenwieser’s exile from Europe and celebrates the possibility of a nearly lost avant-garde to remain.

It builds on artistic research undertaken by Kampe and Brown between 2014 and 2017 (‘Releasing the Archive’, Auckland, Berlin, Hannover, Bath, Tel Aviv and Vienna) in collaboration with The New Zealand Dance Company and international scholars. The installation draws on video footage of choreographic work developed through the re-enacting of archival material of ex-Bodenwieser dancers Shona Dunlop-McTavish, Hillary Napier and Hilde Holger. The installation explores practices of displacement, doubling and fragmenting of recorded material to echo and honour the labour of lost modernist dancers and dances of exile.

With thanks to Shona Dunlop-MacTavish, Shona McCullagh, Barbara Cuckson, Laure Guilbert, Neil Glen, Anthony Head, Kirsten Seeligmüller. The project was supported through Bath Spa University and University of Auckland.

The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah (and The Long Haul) is a collaborative practice-based research project between Rew Lowe and Matt Law responding to questions of ecological urgency through performance practice : ‘How might we communicate the issue of climate change in such a way as to at once engage people whilst also moving them to some form of positive action or behavioural change?’

ScreenDanceSpace

ScreenDanceSpace is a Bath Spa based research and practice environment that fosters engagement with screendance, organised by Chris Lewis-Smith. A three day symposium in June 2018, representing the first event of ScreenDanceSpace, attracted undergraduate and postgraduate screendance makers from within and beyond the university, forming a broad community of emerging international artists.

The second event, a screening of postgraduate work, took place in the University theatre on 20 February 2019, and a second symposium, where screendance makers will collaborate with script writers, is planned for June 2019.

Sweet Waters

Sweet Waters, by Richard White, is a project that combines walking with an exploration of the reluctant heritage surrounding British slave-ownership. 

Water. Life. Trade. A cycle of participatory performative walks and creative dialogues in Bath and along the River Avon. From rain to river to sea to sky and back: walking-with heritage, memories, silences, absences, stories, relics.

Book - Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-Embodiments, 1st Edition

Sian Sullivan, Professor of Environment and Culture
Co-editor with Ruth Thomas-Pellicer and Vito De Lucia

Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-Embodiments is a preliminary contribution to the establishment of re-embodiments as a theoretical strand within legal and ecological theory, and philosophy. Re-embodiments are all those contemporary practices and processes that exceed the epistemic horizon of modernity. As such, they offer a plurality of alternative modes of theory and practice that seek to counteract the ecocidal tendencies of the Anthropocene. The collection comprises eleven contributions approaching re-embodiments from a multiplicity of fields, including legal theory, eco-philosophy, eco-feminism and anthropology. 

Events

There will be a series of presentations by members of the Creative Corporealites research group and outside guest speakers. These are supported by Bath Spa University Quality Research funding.

Unless otherwise stated, our events are free and open to staff, students and members of the public. Our public lectures are likely to be of broadest interest, while research seminars are intended primarily for staff and postgraduate students.

Embodied Learning: Moving Creativity and Agency

One–day symposium followed by a one day workshop with Glenna Batson (US/IE)
19-20 October 2019
Bath Spa University, Newton Park Campus, Bath (UK)
Key presenter: Emeritus Professor Glenna Batson (US/IE)
Convenors: Thomas Kampe and Mary Steadman, (Bath Spa's Creative Corporealities Research Group (CCRG))

This one-day symposium addresses issues around embodiment in learning, education and performer training. Through practical explorations, academic presentations, workshop sessions, artistic interaction and debate we will explore how a somatic-turn in learning, education and training can contribute to a meaningful and critical education to ‘humanize humanity’ (Morin 1999:10) in the context of global and civilisatory crises. The symposium will be followed by a one- day workshop by Glenna Batson. The symposium and workshop will be held on the beautiful Newton Park Campus of Bath Spa University, and is organised through the Creative Corporealities Research Group (CCRG) located within the Bath School of Music and Performing Arts.

The convenor team invites educators, academics and artists to contribute to this pertinent symposium through lectures, workshops, panel discussions artistic presentations or alternative formats.

Call for Presentations: 

Presentation formats: 20 minute lecture presentations; 60 or 90 minute workshops; 60 minute panel discussions; 30–45 minute artistic presentations. Skype presentations and alternative formats of presentations are welcomed.

Topics might include:

Embodied and Enactivist Cognition and Pedagogies; Embodied Performance Practices and Performer Training; New Materialism and Posthumanism; Deconstruction and Embodiment; Somatic Activism and Applied Somatics; Touch as Learning Modality; Agency, Empathy and Liveness; Somatic Performance Cultures; Eco and Walking Arts; Embodying Gender; Critiquing Whiteness – Decolonising Practice; Embodying Diversity; Embodiment in the Digital Age; Eco-Somatics and Eco-Crisis;  Re-Embodiment and Re-Empowerment; Movement and Well-being in Education.

Presenter fee: £35/workshop fee £35  - concessions are available. The symposium will be self-funding.

Submission format: 250 words long proposal and a 250 word biography
Deadline for proposals: 8 September 2019. Feedback by 23/08/2019
Please send all materials to t.kampe@bathspa.ac.uk 

Dwelling

3 October 2019. 7PM – 8:45PM
The Anglican Chapel, Arnos Vale Cemetery
Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EW

Tickets available via Eventbrite.

Dwelling is a performance/installation using film and live performance. Dwelling is about ghosts, ghost’s stories - things that dwell, in places, in time, and people. Filmed at Poltimore House, a derelict mansion in Devon, the performance is inspired by ruins and ruination, mothers and mothers’ ruin - insistent histories that haunt.

The evening begins with a 20 minute presentation of the PhD practice as research that investigates Hauntology - the past in the present - the beginning as always-already haunted, in performance practice. After a short interval this will be followed by Dwelling, a visually poetic experimental performance installation that invites you to welcome the irrational, inexplicable otherness of ghosts - to listen and observe what they return to tell us.

Devised and performed in collaboration with Samuel de la Torre, Leeza Jessie, Alice Barton, Sofia Caley, Aimee Pollock, and Xavier de Santos, directed by Mary Steadman, music by Helen Roberts.

About the director

Mary Steadman is the Artistic Director of Red Room Productions, Senior Lecturer in Acting at Bath Spa University, and part-time practice-based PhD student at Bath Spa Uni. Mary formed Red Room Productions in 2014 to create thought provoking performances that invite an audience to hover in wonder and ambiguity, and to excite and invigorate imagination. Previous performances have toured to Germany, Belarus, Russia, Belgium, and France.

Paysages Mixtes | Mixed Landscapes with film-maker/author Katrin McPherson

Paysages Mixtes | Mixed Landscapes
21 June 2019
Newton Park, Commons, Viewing Theatre (meet in the atrium) - 6pm

A new screendance work by Katrina McPherson (Scotland) and Harold Rhéaume (Quebec), presented by Katrina McPherson

Filmmaker/author Katrina McPherson talks about her films and the development of her practice. This includes the recently premiered short film, Paysages Mixtes/Mixed Landscapes, May 2019, performed and directed by Katrina and Quebec choreographer Harold Rheaume.  

Paysages Mixtes | Mixed Landscapes is a series of duets and solos, filmed in evocative rural and urban landscapes in Quebec and Scotland, move through nuanced versions of the duo’s relationship, in which they investigate, the expression of relationship and narrative without dialogue.

Katrina McPherson is a director and screendance artist, whose creative, scholarly, and educational work is at the forefront of the international field. Her prize winning short dance films have been screened at festivals worldwide. She is currently Associate Artist at Dance Base, Edinburgh and a Dance North Associate Artist

Lively force of Quebec’s artistic milieu, Harold Rhéaume has built a prolific, accessible, authentic and profoundly human choreographic work since his beginnings in Le Groupe de la Place Royale in 1989.The artistic director and general co-director of Le fils d’Adrien danse, Harold’s work has been presented throughout Quebec, Canada, France, Belgium, Scotland and United States.

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